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Unread 09-11-2017, 10:24 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I have some Meguiar's Medium Cut and Fine Cut polishes, but never thought about going even further with wet sanding.

The coating after the polishing is where I'm at a loss. In the past, I've found that if I polish the headlights, and don't use a coating, they quickly oxidize again.

Does the Gyeon Prime keep them looking clear for a significant period of time?

CD
Mine still look new after 2 years. Gyeon Prime is a chemical / UV coating that you can use on you while car.

See link below.

http://www.esotericcarcare.com/gyeon-q2-prime/
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Unread 09-11-2017, 10:28 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metalman View Post
The original OEM plastic headlights (can't vouch for the foreign knock-offs) have a UV top coat protection layer. It's supposed to slow down the UV weathering effects of sunlight. But it's not perfect and at some point you need to take action... All of the sanding and revitalization kits obviously will cut through and remove this UV layer, but at this point that layer is shot anyway. Be careful how much heat and pressure you put into the headlight lens with the buffer.

I used the 3M kit on my 1999 wife's MB headlights and it worked well...
Yup, the main goal of sanding is to remove the entire OEM protection layer that is on the light that has failed. Adding a UV coating like a Gyeon Prime will put is back after your are done sanding and polishing and removing polishing oils.

I don't like 3M clear bra or Laminx on the lights because it is a pain in the a$$ to get perfectly installed.
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Unread 09-11-2017, 11:37 PM #13
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Thanks for all the answers. I think I have a game plan, now. It is a bit pricy, but having clear headlights is not just a cosmetic issue, it is a safety issue. Plus, those Xenon headlights weren't exactly cheap, so why make them work through hazy plastic?

CD
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Unread 09-12-2017, 10:22 AM #14
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I'm going to have to do this very soon, as well. My lenses aren't awful, but they are a tad bit cloudy and have a yellowish tinge to 'em, which make the car look aged/tired. I'll probably go through wet sanding from 800/1000 grit (to remove the clear coat) on up to 3000 and then polish out the plastic with a drill-attached pad and plastic polish. I'm torn about re-sealing with a clear-coat. I'd hate to work for a clear, smooth surface and see it fade away again in a year or so, but I use Zaino as my paint sealant and it has UV blockers. I'd also hate to work that hard and then apply clear coat, only to have it fish-eye / orange peel on me. Given that my MINI is garage kept and is a fun car (not daily driven and parked outside when I'm working), I'll probably just let Zaino and my garage do the protection if I can polish the lens out to where I'm happy with the result.
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Unread 09-12-2017, 10:23 AM #15
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I second the LaminX vinyl. I am on my second set after almost 14 yrs of high desert heat and exposure. The lenses looked factory new when I took off the old vinyl. And it wasn't hard to put on the new set as they are precut and the adhesive is very forgiving. Any small imperfections are gone after a few days in the sun.
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Unread 09-12-2017, 10:27 AM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metalman View Post
Be careful how much heat and pressure you put into the headlight lens with the buffer.
I've heard this same sentiment mentioned in many different places. It is easy to put too much heat into the plastic lens and get deformation / bubbling.

I bought a Meguiar's kit with a 'power ball' type of thing (foam polishing ball for use with a drill), sandpaper and plastic polish, which has worked well on several other plastic bits (made a huge change to my mother-in-law's 3rd brake light which was completely matte and felt like 1000 grit sandpaper... got it back to clear and shiny with 5-10 min of work).
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Unread 09-12-2017, 07:00 PM #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agranger View Post
I've heard this same sentiment mentioned in many different places. It is easy to put too much heat into the plastic lens and get deformation / bubbling.

I bought a Meguiar's kit with a 'power ball' type of thing (foam polishing ball for use with a drill), sandpaper and plastic polish, which has worked well on several other plastic bits (made a huge change to my mother-in-law's 3rd brake light which was completely matte and felt like 1000 grit sandpaper... got it back to clear and shiny with 5-10 min of work).

If you are using a powerball you won't have a heat problem. You will have fun just trying to polish something round with something else round.

I use flat orange foam pads on a DA and as I polish. It allows more control when polishing. I use my other hand to feel the lense to know how hot the plastic is getting while sanding out 3000 grit scratches.
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Unread 09-12-2017, 07:56 PM #18
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I have a Porter-Cable 7424 Polisher. I don't have to press hard, and I can set the speed on the low side to prevent heat.

I got that polisher for FREE! Porter Cable gave it to me to review for the car magazine I worked for. Man, I miss that job. I got so much free stuff.

CD
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Unread 09-13-2017, 09:37 AM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
I have a Porter-Cable 7424 Polisher. I don't have to press hard, and I can set the speed on the low side to prevent heat.

I got that polisher for FREE! Porter Cable gave it to me to review for the car magazine I worked for. Man, I miss that job. I got so much free stuff.

CD
Cool that's what I use with na Orange pad and crank the speed up to 6 for the first few passes.

After you see the shine looking good slow down to about 34 and finish buffing them out. I switch lights from time to time to keep the heat low but the lights can take a lot abuse from a foam pad.

It is people with a rotary Mikita and a wool pad that will destroy a light is 30 seconds or less if they don't know what they are doing.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 03:32 PM #20
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I do it by hand! I never burn the finish! Dave thinks I am old. What is a polisher anyway?
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